cervical cancer specialist

Common Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It occurs when abnormal cells in the cervix grow out of control and form a tumor. If left untreated, cervical cancer can spread to other parts of the body, making it more difficult to treat. In this blog, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and its causes.

Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

In the early stages of cervical cancer, there may be no symptoms at all. However, as the cancer grows and spreads, some common signs and symptoms may appear, including:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding: One of the most common symptoms of cervical cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. This may include bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause. In some cases, the bleeding may be heavy or accompanied by pain.
  • Unusual discharge: Another common symptom of cervical cancer is unusual vaginal discharge. The discharge may be watery, bloody, or have a foul odor.
  • Pain during sex: Women with cervical cancer may experience pain during sex. This may be due to the tumor pressing on the cervix or other nearby organs.
  • Pelvic pain: Pelvic pain is another common symptom of cervical cancer. It may be a dull ache or a sharp pain that comes and goes.
  • Urinary problems: As cancer grows, it may press on the bladder or ureters, causing urinary problems such as frequent urination, urgency, or pain during urination.

Causes of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is caused by abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. In most cases, these changes are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common sexually transmitted infection. HPV can cause changes in the cells of the cervix, leading to abnormal growth and the development of cancer.

Other factors that may increase the risk of developing cervical cancer include:

  • Smoking: Women who smoke are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer than non-smokers.
  • Weak immune system: Women with a weakened immune system, such as those with HIV or who have undergone an organ transplant, are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
  • Long-term use of birth control pills: Women who have used birth control pills for more than 5 years are at a slightly higher risk of developing cervical cancer.

Prevention

The most effective way to prevent cervical cancer is to get vaccinated against HPV. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls aged 11 or 12. It is also recommended for women up to age 45 and men up to age 26 who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger.

Other ways to reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer include:

  • Practicing safe sex by using condoms
  • Limiting the number of sexual partners
  • Quitting smoking
  • Getting regular Pap smears

In conclusion, cervical cancer is a serious and potentially deadly disease. By understanding the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and taking steps to reduce your risk, such as getting vaccinated against HPV and getting regular Pap smears, you can help protect yourself from this disease. If you experience any symptoms of cervical cancer, be sure to visit a Surgical Oncologist who can guide you through your journey.